The 5 Best Self-Tanners


When you’re looking for a nice, even tan, a quality self-tanner can get you there in no time. Regularly visiting a tanning salon or tanning outdoors can be very damaging to your skin, especially over time. By using a self-tanner, you can still achieve the golden color you want, without having to worry about unnecessarily exposing your skin to harmful UVA and UVB rays.

What Is Self-Tanner?

Self-tanner is a topical cream, lotion, gel, or spray that can be applied to the face and body to produce an artificial suntan. The ingredients will safely react to the skin so that you can enjoy the appearance of the perfect tan, no matter what time of year it is or what sort of climate you live in. When searching for the perfect self-tanner, look for something with SPF protection or apply sunscreen along with your self-tanner to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging effects.

For the best application, exfoliate prior to use and use an applicator mitt to apply the self-tanner. This offers streak-free results and can make it even easier to apply an even layer on your skin. Make sure to wash your hands after application and let the self-tanner dry completely before getting dressed so that you don’t risk staining your clothes.

Top 5 Self-Tanners

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse is a cult classic with celebrities and avid tanners alike. The best selling super lightweight velvety mousse is ideal for all skin types and can help you achieve perfect application on both your face and body. It is streak-free, easy to apply, and can leave you with a natural-looking bronzed glow.

You won’t have to worry about streaks or the dreaded self-tan smell. It dries in only 60 seconds and after about 4-8 hours, you will be left with a long-lasting tan. Infused with Vitamin E and eco-cert approved DHA (an all natural tanning agent), you can expect a rich tan that fades evenly, every time. The no hassle mousse will not rub off and could not be easier to apply, making it one of the top self-tanner choices for Consumer Reports, Allure,,,, and more.

Currently $41.00 on Amazon

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Airbrush

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Airbrush is available in medium and deep shades to best match your skin tone. It offers a streak-free, no rub, quick-drying application with a fresh citrus scent. The 360 wide angle jet applicator allows you to apply it in an airbrushed fashion, similar to what you would achieve at a salon, so that you can achieve even, long-lasting results. The superfine mist does not need to be rubbed in and can dry instantly, making it ideal for busy people on the go and the perfect addition to your travel bag.

This spray will work immediately, providing you with an instant tan, even in those hard-to-reach areas. It will also build up every time you use it, until you reach your desired tan. Then, you will only need to use it 1-2 times per week to maintain your tan. Consumer Reports named this airbrush spray the best sunless tanner because there is no orange or green hue to the tan and the results lasted several days. It is also a top choice for self-tanners on Consumer Search, Allure, Real Simple, and more.

Currently $7.67 on Amazon

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel

You can’t go wrong with a Clarins’ Self Tanning Instant Gel. They offer a number of award-winning products that can help you achieve a natural bronze tan in no time. The Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel is a lightweight, non-oily instant tanning gel that can be applied to the face and body. It is colorless when applied, but will produce a glowing tan after a few hours, which will last for about 3-4 days. The greaseless, nonstick formula absorbs quickly and can be applied in one layer for a natural-looking sheer tint or can be layered for a deeper bronze. Immediately after application, your skin will be left soft, smooth, and glowing.

Reviewers found that this gel produces some of the best color, making it a top choice for self-tanners on Consumer Search, Allure, Glamour, InStyle,, Real Simple,,, and more.

Currently $38.98 on Amazon

Self Tanner Sunless Tanning Half Body Wipes

If you find it hard to apply an even base of self-tanner, then these Self Tanner Sunless Tanning Half Body Wipes are the perfect solution. These bestselling 20 Self-Tan Towelettes are half body wipes that can help you achieve an even, streak-free, natural-looking tan anywhere, anytime. You simply apply the towelette all over your body and in less than four hours, you will enjoy a beautiful bronze tan. Each application lasts about one week and the color will build with time. These can be used anywhere, making them perfect for your travel bag.

Thermalabs is a bestselling tanning company that makes some of the best self-tanning products on the market and back their products with a 100% money back guarantee. Each purchase also includes a bestselling 50-page guide to self-tanning, which can be emailed to you.

Currently $16.99 on Amazon

Fake Bake Flawless

As Amazon’s #1 best seller in self-tanners and bronzers, Fake Bake Flawless is also one of the top choices on and is backed by outstanding online reviews.

The kit includes a professional applicator mitt and a self-tan liquid for streak-free, easy, professional application on the face and body. This will help you achieve a golden bronze with no streaks. It also smells great, absorbs and dries quickly, and provides an even color. It is formulated with an exclusive triple tan formula (DHA boosted by DMI & Erythulose) to provide longer-lasting results. The kit has no artificial preservatives or parabens and is suitable for all skin tones and skin types.

Currently $11.85 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best self-tanners. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread's Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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